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Petersburg Casino Details for Live! Emerge in Virginia City



Petersburg Casino Details for Live! Emerge in Virginia City

Posted on: July 11, 2024, 08:57h. 

Last updated on: July 11, 2024, 09:52h.

New details regarding the Petersburg casino project expected to go before city voters during the November 5 presidential election have emerged from would-be developers The Cordish Companies and Bruce Smith Enterprises.

Petersburg casino Virginia Live!
A rendering of the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia entertainment complex, with subsequent mixed-use development phases completed. Petersburg voters will likely determine the fate of the proposed $1.4 billion undertaking on November 5. (Image: The Cordish Companies)

Baltimore-based Cordish and Bruce Smith Enterprises, a Virginia firm owned by NFL Hall of Famer and Virginia Tech alum Bruce Smith, are working together in the Virginia city as PPE Casino Resorts Petersburg, LLC. PPE recently divulged specifics regarding its proposed Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia.

The first phase of the development, should city voters back the casino referendum this fall, would include a $142.63 million investment to construct a provisional casino. The casino would commence operations within a year of a successful referendum.

The subsequent development phase would include an investment of $454.22 million and bring a five-star hotel resort with numerous restaurants and amenities, plus a larger permanent casino floor, to the entertainment complex. No timeline for the larger development phase was provided.

PPE wants to build its approximately $597 million casino resort on 92 acres off Wagner Road and Interstate 95.

The final resort, PPE projects, will employ 7,500 people with an average compensation of $70K including benefits and tips. According to the US Census Bureau, Petersburg’s median household income in 2022 was $47K. The city’s unemployment rate remains around 5%, nearly double Virginia’s statewide unemployment rate of just 2.7%.

The developers forecast that the resort will generate an annual economic impact north of $200 million for the City of Petersburg.  

Lottery Approval

The Virginia Lottery, which regulates commercial casino gambling in the commonwealth, this week certified Petersburg as an eligible host casino city pending resident support. Virginia lawmakers and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) earlier this year approved legislation qualifying Petersburg for a casino enterprise after Richmond voters, for a second time, rejected a proposed resort with slot machines, table games, and sports betting.

With the lottery’s blessing, the final step in moving the casino question to the ballot for Petersburg voters is having the City Council obtain a support letter for the referendum from the Petersburg Circuit Court to conduct the election. City councilors on Monday will ask for that judicial endorsement, which is expected to be granted.

Should a simple majority of Petersburg voters back the Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia project, the enterprise would proceed to the licensing phase where lottery officials would conduct background checks of key personnel to determine if all involved are suitable to hold gaming licenses in the state.

Mixed-Use Components

PPE sweetened its casino bid to the Petersburg City Council by pledging to bring mixed-use real estate to the area surrounding the casino in the years after the resort is up and running.

Cordish and Bruce Smith Enterprises plan to invest another $803 million in the subsequent 15 years after the resort opens to develop residential units, office space, an additional hotel, and retail shopping. PPE will retain full equity ownership in the destination.

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